Update 3 (11pm, 1 September): The Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee’s estimate tallies with our prediction and estimate of 500,000.

Update 2 (1 September): Amazing! The massive sea of humanity at Dataran at the peak of the rally last night could have ranged from 300,000 to 400,000 (including the river of yellow at places like Jalan Tun Perak). Bear in mind that by 10pm, volunteers at Jalan Tun Perak were already carrying placards telling people heading to Dataran that the place was already full.

And so, contrary to expectations, the second day’s attendance was larger than the first day’s figure of over 250,000.

If we eliminate half of the first day’s figure (being those who might have stayed on or returned for both days), the overall number of visitors for the entire 34-hour event should be approaching half a million, close to what I had predicted. (Remember, all these are just ball park figures). Syabas, Malaysians!

Update 1 (31 August): Another large turnout this Sunday morning. In Jalan Tun Perak alone, perhaps 50,000 people by 11.30am. This could double or triple later this afternoon. So if we add this figure to what we got yesterday (below) and assuming half of them are the same people who turned up ont the first day, I think we can safely estimate that the turnout for Bersih 4 surpasses 300,000.

Original post (30 August):

It is always difficult to estimate crowds of more than 100,000. But let’s try.

The consensus for the previous rally, Bersih 3, was that more than 200,000 people attended, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to 250,000.

Last night, when I met Aliran’s Sarajun Hoda, who is also the deputy chairman of the Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee, he told me this time the rally was larger, with the crowd stretching all the way down from Jalan Tun Perak to Pudu, much farther than the last time.

He could be right. From where I was yesterday evening along Jalan Tun Perak, I estimated the crowd at some 150,000.

But I couldn’t see how far the mass of humanity stretched along the road. At one intersection, you could barely wade through this sea of humanity.

A contact told me that when leaving the scene at about 5pm, she noticed that people were still arriving via LRT for the rally.

Another source told me that his friends at the scene estimated the crowd at 200,000.

Then I met a classmate last night, and he said his friends at the scene who had attended Bersih 3 concurred with what Sarajun had told me – that the attendance was larger than Bersih 3.

Now, if the Bersih 3 attendance was 200,000-250,000, I can conclude that the turnout this time was 250,000-300,000. This tallies nicely with Haris Ibrahim’s prediction when I bumped into him at Pasar Seni at the start of the rally: he said he was expecting some 300,000 to turn up.

My own earlier prediction of half a million did not materialise. Perhaps many were deterred by the dark hints of possible violence and trouble. Maybe tens of thousands were also intimidated by the last-minute announcement that Bersih 4 T-shirts would be banned as well as by the steady daily diet of warnings in the media in the run-up to the rally to deter Malaysians from attending. Why, 26 people were reportedly arrested last night allegedly for wearing Bersih 4 T-shirts.

Still, all said, Syabas to Malaysians for braving those scare tactics and turning up in record numbers for the Bersih 4 rally.

Hidup, Hidup! Hidup, Bersih!

What do you think? What’s your estimate of the turnout?

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91 COMMENTS

  1. The high attendance is commendable despite the threats of silat exponents, taser gun, tear gas, water cannon, last minute T-shirts ban, warning of riot etc. Credit to all participants for keeping the streets free from rubbish and litter, a level of civic consciousness that the authority can learn from.

  2. KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar today on improved demand for the local currency, said a dealer.

    At 9.17 am, the local unit was quoted at 4.1500/1600 to the greenback from last Friday’s 4.1950/1050. The ringgit was also traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

    It rose against the Singapore dollar to 2.9437/9514 from 2.9877/9969 last Friday and was higher versus the yen at 3.4272/4366 from 3.4721/4812 last week.

    It appreciated against the pound sterling at 6.3810/3968 from 6.4561/4732 on Friday and strengthened against the euro to 4.6625/6754 from 4.7349/7470 previously.

    Dunggu will say its because of Bersih but we have the funadmental unlike duing Mahathir time when our reserve go down to 20 billion as compared to now 100 billions.

    Who is bad or rogue one should have the eyes to see but look like many are in obsession or just Kok Eye

  3. This weekend, my former boss Clare Rewcastle Brown did interviews with foreign media about Malaysia. Some think it’s strange that a British woman keeps talking about Malaysia, but I was not surprised. After I began working for her, I found out Clare was (allegedly) receiving funding from very powerful people in Malaysia. She keeps talking about money that people say went into our PM’s account, but never talks about the money she receives.

    Why? If Clare is such a believer in transparency, she should provide the Sarawak Report accounts and show us where her funding comes from. But she can’t do this. Because if she did, we would find out who her real boss is.

    • Quoted “funding from powerful people in Malaysia” who is more powerful than 1PM who sack the dpm?

    • Where is Jho Low?
      Where is the Rm2.6billion or whatever’s left in which account in which country?
      Don’t create distraction from this high crime.

      • Love it. At least CAT is willing to sacrifice the opportunity costs of mix development at Sia Boey.
        Unlike one ying-ying-yang-yang who only sees his own profiteering from affordable housing.
        LGE, how about reverting back to the 60s huge dragon heads for dragon boats?

      • tunglang please update us on the new development in Sia Boey. Those Ho Hia Ti must be pleased with the new development in this 7th month.

    • Receiving funding from powerful people in MALAYSIA? Of course who can it be? Sacking dpm, transferring macc, sb and playing musical chairs. PR can be that powderful?

  4. Wow half a million. More like it 100k. Pop sorry it’s 500k. Today 100k add tomorrow that will be 200k, then 50k go back and then come back, you get 250k, wow just keep on adding go back and come back and sure you get 500k. NICE try and not forgetting they also have new prophet that can claim you have taubat repented.

    • A person will occupy 4 sq ft of space.
      For a space of 2 km in length and 100 m in width, the estimated crowd size:

      2000mX3.28ft =6560ft
      100mX3.28ft =328ft
      6560X328=2151680(ft)²
      2151680(ft)² / 4 =537,920

      So it is reasonable to assume the crowd to be at least 500K.

  5. You can tung tung tang tang but whatever Bersih 4 is already tainted with M 22 year of corruption, Cronyism and subversion of check and balance. People will see it NO different at all not bersih but Kotor. No amount of praying to niao Kong, kuan Kong, dark Kong, deities, God, angels, saints or prophets can change that FACTS.

    Cat senior rumbling through the trash bin for SEPT 16 Cat but sure he got rejected goods which prove that GHB and PKR are irrelevant when they could not get Malay support. Dream on with Pas. . Look.here you are willing to do a BETRAYAL just like M for.anything including implementation of hudud

    Try bring on

  6. A Merdeka Day Poem by Lim Lee Sah

    During the past two days KL turned into a sea of yellow.
    Many were willing to temporarily abandon the comfort of home’s pillow,
    To sleep on the streets perhaps next to another activist fellow.
    A tent was already like a luxurious bungalow.
    There was no need of fan or air-con as the night breeze began to blow.
    In demonstrating patriotism these rally participants weren’t poor or shallow.
    They simply wanted justice and righteousness in our nation to glow.
    Today is already the 58th Merdeka Day. Hello!
    But our currency has dropped to a 17-year low.
    And progress of the 1MDB investigations is way too slow.
    Corrupt leaders we’re too fed up to follow.
    Our anger against injustice continues to grow.
    But our love for this nation never fails to flow.
    Celebrating our independence, we still hope for a better tomorrow.

    • Are you sure you are too fed up to follow up with corrupted leaders or are you PANG POOI (BLOWING HORN)
      Are you not following a former PM, Mahathir that was so corrupt for more than 20 years.

      • Right, benny.
        So sorry for some blokes who have no opportunities to gain the benefits of learning & practising marketing warfare strategies.
        Yet they wanna ‘gao-gao’ with no real experience to apply in politics.
        These blokes try hard (like Blue Ocean Strategies of Na Ji?) blowing thro’ these wet ears filled with sea water.
        Too much of a Ooo Thong is not only bad for your morality & dignity, you never get to learn anything useful, purposeful & socially benefiting but always thinking of the next gravy trains & foreign generous donors.

  7. An UMNO leader claimed that the RM2.6 bil. donation money from a mysterios donor deposited into Najib’s personal account was to be used to fight the DAP-Jew threat. Looks like in order to counter
    Bersih-4 threat Najib will have to beg the donor for more donation to accomplish the job.

    • No wonder, there are some in this website incessantly attack DAP. They are (allegedly) well paid from part of the donation received. To be part of the team where the taikoh receive 2.6B is something to be very proud for many companies are only thousands

      • Now Umno is trying to link DAP with Yahudi in order to further strike the nerves of the malays…? Comunists as bogeymen can no longer work?

    • NK, you should see them as Malaysians not Chinese, Malays, Indiana or banglas lah! Anyway, your Selfie shot on Saturday drew more crowds on Sunday despite your absence………..

      • DAP & LKS keep enticing Mudyiddin but he is not a Malaysian. He is Malay. Most Dap sycophants seem to forget that

      • Like your jib khor, always play and uses race and religion card. To use, everyone is a Malaysian.

  8. Previously PAS machinery brought out the Malays in masses, this time they didn’t and the numbers dropped. THERE IS NO ARGUMENT THAT MALAYS ARE FOR OR AGAINST BERSIH – they are susceptible to machinery and actions of their leaders. All it means is the work is cut out for the new Pakatan to build the machinery. Its tough against combination religo-narcotic politics of PAS and corruption-power-abuse politics of UMNO.. BUT its not undoable, its just about putting in the work, a lot of it.

    For those truly commited, this whole thing just means, you know what the measure of work and challenge it. Its not impossible, its just hard.. Who is here not to do the hard thing? If you are not, then just get out..

  9. Merdeka countdown at Dataran Merdeka was changed to Bkt Jalil and not shown live on TV due to low attendance compared to Bersih 4.0.

    Felda 2nd Generation folks are promised RM60K house (850 sq ft?) by Jibby in his desperate attempt to retain dwindling support on eve of national day?

      • Pity east Malaysians. What do they get? Worse off. The sinkaporeans and tiny rich oil state enjoy themselves. Funny how come dumno tell them they suddenly they are in the 1957 social contract?

      • To appease Sarawakians before the state election, the east Malaysia map appeared on the Sehati Sejiwa national day logo.

        Even the tv clip showong Najib having coffee with old folks has the Sarawak cultural dance infused to please the Sarawakians?

        S4S is a threat to BN?

      • I think BN wanted to downplay the word ‘Merdeka’ in front of the Sarawakians following the recent pressure from S4S …

    • Najib is not fair. He (entices) the Felda folks with low cost housing to gain their suppořt. What about those living in cities where housing is expensive?

  10. Good to read positive comments from tunglang, reminded me of Jedi turned sour then back to right conscience. Also Mahathir succumbed to moral conscience. HAPPY MERDEKA

    • Cheers Kopi-O kau kau!
      Anticipate Bersih 5.0.
      Malaysians have expressed their disgust for rampant corruption, unfair election, leeching of national coffer & tua khang, tua khai of Najib regime.
      To make it nails in the coffin (effective), PAS should see beyond the present stand-off with others in PR & work for the realisation of Malaysia Baru. Otherwise, no amount of self-righteousness & no work will drive anything as evil as the present regime to the Blue Ocean of Failed Strategies.
      Where is Sorrowful Yang-Yang to explain or twist+turn (against God, deities, prophets, angels) against the half a million [email protected]?

      • You are almost right, karamjit.
        My only 2-cent reservation is against environment degradation in Penang – hill cutting + earth mining, land reclamation, tree cutting & polluted rivers. And not least, some influential developers who seemed to get lee way around land laws & sympathies (like that Madam Pykett mansion issue). Also, the interests of the poor & economic disadvantaged who cannot afford to own a decent home, much less a warm hawker cuisine.
        Otherwise, I look forward to a great leap for Penang with DAP & PR at the helm in the coming years.
        Just look around & you see more social-cultural-economic activities & development which now benefit Penangites. (You didn’t see that much since the end of Duty Free Status for Penang in early 1970s & the beginning of the Ostrich Epoch).
        So sorry for my overt-ranting against spending beyond limits (of materialistic lifestyle) which I think is an individual choice not to be harshly judged. (Don’t assume that I am now financially better for saying that). Let others enjoy life as he or she sees fit, ok?
        For one particular property speculator, pls don’t have to curse Niao Kong or DAP for a housing policy that turn his dreams of quick-rich speculation (at the expense of genuine home buyers of average purchasing power) into overnight ying-ying nightmares. Think of yang ideas to rent out his speculated properties or better still help those interested in running old folks homes for the poor, helpless & homeless. Who knows he may get to accumulate good Karmic points for his next life in the Ist World Island of Niao Kong!

  11. Let us not be reminded of the KOTOR but some one wanted Malaysia n to be tainted with KOTOR when he told us that M is for all Malaysian. Where is your principle

  12. Only dunggu would believe M support Malaysian. He is there because the crooked bridge was not done thinking that Najib has kowtow Singapore making his Ego so bruised that started 70 years ago in Singapore

    • Only dunggu, and pea brain here thinks everyone here support M? M has right to visit the demonstration and he does not support bersih

  13. This morning, I woke up refreshed & hopeful for Malaysia Baru.
    I believe the same for all Bersih 4.0 organisers & supporters @ home & at the 3 venues.
    Let us work together in same spirit regardless of race to realise our Merdeka dreams once & for all.

    To Dr M, you have done a wonderful thing of ‘loh teow’ (entered the battle field) which I believe has inspired the many undecided to join in the rally at the last moment of historical reckoning. Your precise words are truly inspirational for all Malaysians to hear.
    For this TQ very much & good health + longevity to you & your wife.

  14. What do desperate people do in time of crisis.

    They go praying to dato Kong, niao Kong, ghost, spirit, God’s, deities, prophets, saints for deliverance. And when a little rain come raining down wow like a moron they start shooting it’s Heaven that has answer them when it’s just a natural phenomenon.

    Anyway they have got a new Saint in Charles Santiago who should deliver them from the.bondage of the Devil M that demonize the.people for 22 years. How hilarous

  15. Thanks to Yang-Yang & Minions of Ooo Thong.
    Your relentless rantings have angered many souls to passion to come put in full force to support Bersih 4.0.
    Even the merciful heavens brought relief (in the form of cooling rain) to motivate &energise the many Bersih souls for the finale countdown.
    The pass 2 days are unforgettable in Malaysian history not to be wipe out nor forgotten ever.
    Thanks to all who took the trouble, time & risks to bravely come to the KL, KK & Kucing for a historic event.
    Thanks to Anil for an inspiring coverage. You walked tall with Kuan Kong today.

  16. “I’m here to support..not to support Malay, Cina, India, Umno, BN,DAP..This is feeling of people. I’m supporting Malaysians”- Tun M
    This will one day be a meaningful historic quote for Malaysian History subject & Political / Social Science from primary to secondary to university education.

  17. Tonight, the night of Hungry Ghost Month, the untimely dead will also join the crowd to shout:
    Bersih Merdeka, Bersih Merdeka, Bersih Merdeka.
    Teoh Beng Hock, P. Balasubramaniam, Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa & many more will shout till the heaven above hears them loud & clear.

  18. 1pm made a fool of himself when he said on ntv7 that the number of BERSIH participants were 20,000 !!! A perfect case of insanity !!!

    He can only count to 20,000 but his personal account has 2.6b plus plus plus !!!

    O yes, he aims to fool the kampong pakcik and makcik. Truly wonder whether these kampong folks can be fooled all the time ???

  19. MadHatter of Helang Island could have been pricked by his own conscience or is it Karma to come out to give moral support to Bersih 4.0. By doing so, he has the courage to confront his own created devils which ate away the many potentials of Malaysia for almost decades since the 80s.
    It takes a devil to slay its own begotten devils. So be it.
    No need for deranged yang-yang to justify by twisting of words to shun the devil at this critical juncture of Saving Malaysia.

    • Phua, Last month or earlier few months ago you can say that but not now after the cabinet reshuffle and after the sacking and.posting of many officers especially the Special branch officer

      Looking at it now, Najib is now holding the upper hand. You could say Mahathir is now desperately doing everything he can even to the extend of joining Bersih 4.

      His greatest mistake is attending Bersih 4. You could say he is now been deemed irrelevant … as most Umno MPs and members have now alieniated themselves from him from the many comments being made regarding his attendance at Bersih This is a blessing in disguise for Najib.

      I CAN CONFIDENTLY SAY THAT NAJIB IS LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT NO CONFIDENT VOTE.. Any which way you all will be the loser

      • Aiyah, Mr Yang.

        Just admit that you have made a mistake supporting the 1PM.

        Then you can continue to criticize LGE and DAP rule in the
        Pearl of the Orient. You will then no longer have to get your
        knickers into a twist by having to spin and spin and spin
        to defend the 1PM and his gross misrule 🙂

    • And I thought it was RM! (No… not the RM which has nosedived to below 3 for one Singapore dollar). Which RM… ask Mahathir lor… he started the “RM” puzzle wan.

  20. Does it really matter how many come out. The figure is actually just about 100k or slightly over but some like to put it higher. What matter is 90% of Bersih 4 are non malay comprising mostly of Chinese and Indian. Does this bode well for the opposition, BN UMNO or Najib.

    So the opposition are going to challenge a vote of no confidence in October.

    Don`t the opposition realizes that such a big rally BERSIH dominated by ethnic Chinese and Indians would inflame the pernicious sore, scratched on UMNO’s & MALAY fringes, that the country’s ISLAMIC and MALAY heritage is under threat from non-Malays.

    IT CERTAINLY BODE WELL FOR NAJIB. The opposition can really forget about the vote of no confidence and getting support from UMNO MPs or PAS.

    With such a threat hanging the Malay electorate and Mahathir visitng the rally site, you bet more Malay will now support Najib despite the current economic crisis and allegation leveled at him. Mahathir has certainly rendered himself IRRELEVANT.

    NAJIB DID GOOD WITH THE POLICE NOT TAKING ANY DRASTIC ACTION. This will put Najib GOOD in the eyes of the Malays, that it is the Non Malay Chinese & Indian that are threatening the country and govt. NAJIB CERTAINLY WIN THIS TIME.

      • Tomorrow morning over 95% has been called up by Gomen to participate in the 31aug parade are Malays. So today are mainly non Malays but tomorrow are Malays. Who started the racial division?

      • It is a Divide & Control strategy of Art of War.
        So don’t be fooled by racial rhetorics & boogey men finger pointing.
        No one benefits but the evil antagonists with self interest in the name of donors.
        Malaysia – A Land of Endless Possibilities? What a hint.

    • This is one appropriate comment on FB:

      The BERSIH rally was not a Chinese only activity. Most Malays who attended on the second day said they were initially worried of violence, police harassment and furthermore disciplinary action was threatened against government servants and students who attend this rally. The public sector employs more than 1 million! It’s risky for them to put their job on the line for this rally. The Chinese on the other hand do not depend on the government for employment and in this hour of need, risked police harassment, potential bodily harm or arrest to attend this rally,for what? TO SAVE THE COUNTRY!!! The talk of DAP or the Chinese taking over the government is pure bull!! The Chinese population is about 25% or so and how do you expect a country to prosper if 25% of citizens is ok and the balance is not?? It is everybody’s interest to ensure all can live decently. It is the endless plundering of the country that has sent fear into Chinese hearts. Hence desperate measures in desperate times!

      • MCA was worried after seeing GenY Chinese (new voters in next GE) came out in full force supporting the rally. MCA Youth Chong SW knew this phenomenon but those old … in MCA were in denial mode as usual. Already MCA is in turmoil now.

  21. Excepts from the Star;

    The Bersih 4 crowd in Dataran Merdeka has begun to disperse, with crowds slowly leaving the area on foot after the rally’s peak at about 4.30pm. Groups of people decked in yellow are leaving the area on foot via Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Tun Perak and Jalan Raja Laut.

    However, thousands still remain at one end of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR), close to Dataran Merdeka to listen to speeches from political and social leaders. The rally-goers had intended to gather at Dataran Medeka itself but they were not allowed to do so as the whole area was barricaded by the police.

    Thousands of people walked from Sogo towards Dataran Merdeka but the sweltering heat and limited space at Dataran Merdeka put off some of the protesters, Those put off left and walked towards the Dang Wangi and Masjid Jamek LRT stations.

    The crowd gathered from the Masjid Jamek area down to the Bar Council heading to Dataran Merdeka also appeared to be dispersing. Protesters claimed that they needed a break from the heat with some saying that they “will come back when it’s cooler”. There was however still a good number of people who decided to just seek shade under the walkways along the route.

    Some protesters could be seen sharing umbrellas while others were seen giving out water bottles and towels to fellow protesters. At the time of this article the situation in front of Sogo is under control and police have managed the traffic well.

    Meanwhile, a group of Bersih 4.0 protesters were seen leaving the rally as early as 5pm.

    A rally-goer who spoke under the condition of anonymity said he and a group of four friends decided to go home after gathering and marching to Dataran Merdeka as early as 1 pm.

    Another protester, who also declined to be identified, said she decided to call it a day after receiving no directions from the organiser. “I wandered aimlessly for awhile before deciding to go home. Aside of feeling tired, I also don’t know where I should be as we did not receive any direction from them,” she said.

  22. Yayaya there could be 300,ooo from the prophets (new & old), deities, angels and wow now Kuan Kong.

    I must be getting old forgetting that the gates from the OTHER SIDE has been opened 28-8-2015 (Chinese calender 15th day of the 7th month.) with so many joining. Wowow its was really a big festivals from all sides angels, deities, prohphet and now even Kuan Kong and ooh ooh the new prophet Charles plus the multitudes of those from the other sides. Am I getting sick or cracko…. or is it the other side

  23. If 250,ooo or 300,ooo then Maria, Cats and Ambiga would have been so happy that they would have jump over the roof. Instead they are lamenting. A new prophet has been born in Bersih 4 through Charles Santiago. He now claimed that Mahathir has taubat (REPENTED). How hilarious !!!

    Lets see what happen after he has been to Bersih 4 and taubat (repented). This is what he said.
    Bersih demonstrators are mules and fools: Dr Mahathir
    http://www.malaysia-today.net/bersih-demonstrators-are-mules-and-fools-dr-mahathir/

  24. UNIVERSITY student Haziq Aziz is quite a fan of the Bersih protest rallies. But he noticed that the Bersih 4 rally yesterday was a bit different. “I went to Dataran Merdeka, Pasar Seni, Petaling Street. Everywhere, it was dominated by the Chinese. It was weird and I felt out of place,” admits the 23-year-old law student who came to the rally with several of his Malay friends.

    For Haziq, it is very clear now that the sizeable Malay crowd at the Bersih rallies in the past had been mobilised by PAS.

    This time round for Bersih 4, PAS had said it will not mobilise its members. And this showed in the significantly lower number of Malays who turned up. The PAS splinter group, Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB), was just not able to draw in the Malay crowd.

    Can GHB do it in the next GE. Frankly speaking, I think they can DREAM ON

  25. One fellow estimated 150k, another said its 200k then another said its 300k. From the aerial view you can see that the crowd are scattered here and there and only in one area that has the most concentration. They are trying to shiok sendiri into believing themselves knowing full well this Bersih 4 is a non event. Kucing draws only 2500.

    The most significant is the absence of Malays. One Hafiz Baharom said, No Malay or you fail to notice when an article reported that it has less than 10% Malay. With his saying it prove that the Malays are very insignificant in Bersih 4 Then he blame on logistic and others reason. Suddenly you have GHB Khalid sayingthere are at least 30% lying without blinking an eye. Ambiga even lament that Pas did not attend proving that Malays are very few.

    This also prove that GHB & PKR influence with the Malay are very insignificant. They rely on the crutches of DAP and Chinese supporters. With Pas splitting the votes next GE, well well need I need to say more. Mahathir is SURELY IRRELEVANT

  26. Anil: I conclude that the turnout this time was 250,000 – 300,000.

    Have you not included the angels, deities & prophets?
    Plus the mighty & protective Kuan Kong that stands tall beside you?

    Thanks God/Tuhan for the greater multitude this Bersih 4.0 with one golden heart – Malaysia Baru Bersih.

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